Tuesday, 10 July 2012

nestlé's milk - how do we say this brand name?

Bright in Victoria is beautiful in the winter, if the sun shines and not a cloud appears in the sky, as was the case when I was there recently.

The Old-Fashioned Lolly Shop was one of the highlights as far as I was concerned. I felt as if I had revisited Britain, as I browsed the array of fudges. I love fudge!

Because I enjoy pictures of dogs, my eye was caught by this lovely reproduction post-card and I bought it. 

It's interesting to think they were advertising the richness of the milk in those days. Today we're always on the look-out for milk that tastes great but has reduced fat.

The shopkeeper - who looked great in old-fashioned costume -  agreed with me that he would probably say the brand-name Nestlé as nest-uhls, as was the usual way when we were young.

Looking around the Internet to see how other people say it, I came across this thread. It seems it's still a debatable question as to whether it's nest-uhls, or ness-lee, or even nesslay.

I'd agree with the following British take on it:
It was always ness-uhlz when I was young, and, to the very very slight extent that I'm called on to say the word today, that is how I say it now. It was most notably heard in the jingle "Ness-uhlz Milky Bar (The Milky Bars are on me!)". Never heard it in the "singular": Nessul. We tend to like our esses on the end of store names: Woolworths, Marks and Spencers, etc., and for some reason the same always went for "Nestles" and some brands. No one in Britain seemed to have noticed the é until relatively recently, but I do understand that we are now expected to pronounce it.
I'll have to research what people are saying around me. All I have to do is mention Nestlé's condensed milk, I reckon, and tell them I love eating it straight from the tin, and I'll get a conversation going. (My friend from Argentina boils it up in the tin before eating it. Yumm!)


Melia said...

I too remember pronouncing it "ness-uhlz" - it had a lovely nuzzly sound to it (and was less pretentious to boot!). I also remember pronouncing "Demi Moore" with the same emphasis as we say "Debbie". And don't even ask how I used to pronounce "Moet", daaarling!

proud womon said...

yes, when i was growing up we pronounced it nessles (insert own spelling)... we spoke proper strine didn't we - no thought of multiculturalism back in the 50s when i was a youngster... somehow i don't think swiss-born developer Henri Nestlé would have pronounced it nessles, do you?

parlance said...

Uh oh, Melia! I still say Demi Moore that way. I'll have to ask someone how to say it. And I can't pronounce Moet, I'll confess. If someone pays for it, I'll drink it, though. Hmm...now that I think of it, unless I get a bit richer, I don't need to know how to say it, lol.

parlance said...

proud womon, someone on that other discussion group I mentioned said that the official advertising jingle pronunciation was 'nessles' in our day. (We seem to have been growing up around the same time.) I guess Mr Nessle didn't care how we said it as long as we bought it.

parlance said...

Melia, I just thought of another word that is causing me 'pronunciation anxiety'. It's Himalayas.

Gill said...

My memory is of the Milky Bar kid (1960's Britain)and 'nessles milky bar' so that's how I've always pronounced it.
As you say, this may be because of adding 's' to the end of the word, another example is Tescos - nobody ever goes to Tesco.

parlance said...

Gill, it used to be the same here in Australia. I always went to Myers, rather than to The Myer Emporium. In fact, I think everyone would still say Myers.

Lynne said...

Nes-Lay is the ONLY way to pronounce it.

parlance said...

Hi, Lynne
I think you're correct that these days we all say it that way. In the days before much international communication, I guess we just said things any way we felt like it, lol.